10/05/2002 1:03 pm ET
MLBeat: Business as usual
By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Minnesota Twins trailing Oakland, 2-1, in the ALDS and facing possible elimination Saturday, the most commonly used cliche used before Game 4 is that "backs are against the wall."
Here's another one to describe the scene in the Twins clubhouse: "business as usual."
"We're trying to do it as normal as possible," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We're going out and playing a baseball game."
Gardenhire is not altering his normal starting lineup for the A's and their starting pitcher, Tim Hudson. That includes sticking with designated hitter David Ortiz, who is 0-for-8 in the series.
"We've lived with this guy; we've been [successful] with him. We won out in Oakland with him in there," Gardenhire said. "He's been my guy as a DH against right-handed pitching all year long.
"For me to sell him out on this day and show no confidence, it would have been a terrible thing. He is a very good hitter. I have all the confidence in the world in David Ortiz, along with the rest of my lineup. This is what got us here. I'm not going to back away from my players now."
Gardenhire also said that most of his pitchers are available for work Saturday, if needed. The only two who aren't are Game 5's scheduled starter, Brad Radke, and Rick Reed, who started Friday's Game 3.
Memories: When asked if the loud crowds and noise at the Metrodome Friday were louder than in the 1991 postseason, Gardenhire was stumped to remember. He was a first-year third base coach under manager Tom Kelly back then.
"It was a long time ago," he said. "I went to third base and was scared [witless]. I walked out of the dugout, and it was, 'Why is the third base coach walking like a penguin?"
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com and can be reached at
email@example.com. This report was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.